Lessons from Michigan: David Eaves writes about the government of Michigan initiative to create an innovation fund to create software useful to the government through collaborative projects that involve public, private and not-for profit organizations.  He laments at the same time that the executive order does not require the software to be made open source, even though the government is paying for the creation of the software.

Incidentally, I had a conversation with a former Principal Secretary for Municipalities in the undivided Andhra Pradesh (this was in early 2014).  He mentioned that they had given a contract to a firm to develop a software for monitoring the collection of garbage in Hyderabad.  While the vendor did the coding, the bureaucrats spent a lot of time and effort in the design.  Anticipating this, the government had added a clause in the contract that if the vendor supplied the software to other municipalities, the government of Andhra Pradesh should receive a commission from the process.  I wonder how far this is enforced.

About Vivek Srinivasan

I work with the Program on Liberation Technology at Stanford University. Before this, I worked with the Right to Food Campaign and other rights based campaigns in India. To learn more, click here.